Early, EARLY Rankings: Daytona I, 2017

brad keselowski photo

Kez tops my early early Daytona I driver rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Update: I’ve now completed my early Daytona rankings, which improve upon these early-early rankings.

Here are my early-early driver rankings for the upcoming Daytona 500. I compiled them by crunching the loop and qualifying data for the past four plate races. I think these two metrics reflect speed, the ability to pass and the ability (and inclination) to run a lot of laps up front, all of which should give me the best chance to get in the ballpark with race-result predictions.

Note: These rankings are rough, especially┬ábecause I’m not even sure yet what the final entry list will look like. I’ll update the rankings as we work our way through Speedweeks.

OK, here they are:

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Kurt Busch
  6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  7. Ryan Blaney
  8. Austin Dillon
  9. Matt Kenseth
  10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  11. Martin Truex Jr.
  12. Kyle Larson
  13. Chase Elliott
  14. Jimmie Johnson
  15. Jamie McMurray
  16. Kevin Harvick
  17. Clint Bowyer
  18. Daniel Suarez
  19. Erik Jones
  20. Trevor Bayne
  21. Paul Menard
  22. Aric Almirola
  23. Kasey Kahne
  24. Michael McDowell
  25. Ryan Newman
  26. Brendan Gaughn
  27. Ty Dillon
  28. AJ Allmendinger
  29. Chris Buescher
  30. Danica Patrick
  31. Landon Cassill
  32. Elliott Sadler
  33. Bobby Labonte
  34. Gray Gaulding
  35. Reed Sorenson
  36. Michael Waltrip
  37. David Ragan
  38. Matt DiBenedetto
  39. Cole Whitt
  40. David Gilliland
  41. Josh Wise
  42. Jeffrey Earnhardt

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